From mortgage rates to Shaftesbury great
AN Alexandra Palace woman who left her humdrum job in a call centre just seven months ago has been voted the best West End actress by theatre fans
AN Alexandra Palace woman who left her humdrum job in a call centre just seven months ago has been voted the best West End actress by theatre fans.
Leanne Jones, 22, who plays the lead role in the musical Hairspray, took the title in the annual Whatsonstage.com Theatregoers' Choice awards.
An estimated 25,000 people voted for her online after being dazzled by her stirring performances as Tracy Turnbald.
The taste of this success is particularly sweet since Ms Jones worked in a call centre advising home-owners on the best mortgage rates after finishing drama school.
That was until July last year when she landed the lead role and her dream job in the musical.
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Ms Jones said: "It's incredible that I've won this award. I'm absolutely chuffed to bits because it was the theatre-going public who voted for me.
"It was a dream come true to be chosen for the part of Tracy in Hairspray.
"It was very surreal because I've always wanted to be an actress but I was working in a call centre for mortgages. So I jumped from being nobody to being thrust into the limelight."
Set in Baltimore in 1962 - a place of bigotry and beauty pageantry - the West End hit follows Tracy in her efforts to win the accolade of Miss Teenage Hairspray on a TV show.
Plump and up against her blonde bimbo school friend, Tracy shows how effort and self-belief can result in success.
The show won seven awards in total including Best New Musical, Best Director and Best Choreographer.
Bill Taylor, CEO of the show's producers Stage Entertainment UK, said: "To win any award for a show you really believe in and has been a privilege to put on stage is great news. But to win seven is an absolute delight.
"Our cast, crew and creative team have done wonders at the Shaftesbury Theatre, bringing one of the happiest shows around to the London stage. And now, to get such a definitive thumbs-up from the public, it feels like the icing on the cake."
Ms Jones attended Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts in Wood Green.
She lived in Alexandra Palace until recently when she moved to the East End.
She will star in the show until October.
For more information about performances, go to www. hairspraythemusical.co.uk.